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The NJDEP's Division of Science, Research and Technology established the Brown Tide Assessment Project in 1999 and is responsible for overall management of the project. In addition, the NJDEP develops the goals/objectives and sampling design of the project and is responsible for the overall evaluation of data and reporting relating to the project. As part of the project, the NJDEP provides funding to several groups to implement the project including: 1) NJ Marine Sciences Consortium and NJ Sea Grant to conduct water monitoring, with a sub-contract with Rutgers Center for Remote for Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis to conduct spatial analysis; 2) Dr. David Caron (Aquatic Ecotechnologies) at the University of Southern California for the enumeration (counting) of the brown tide, 3) NJDEP's Bureau of Marine Water Monitoring to analyze water samples for nutrients, 4) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; and 5) the NJDEP's Bureau of Marine Water Monitoring.

Brown Tide Assessment Project Sampling Design and Data Evaluation (NJDEP/DSRT):
The sampling design and methods were developed by the NJDEP/DSRT as part of the of the Brown Tide Assessment Project. The sampling design included the collection of water samples for four years (2000-03). The sampling design in 2001-2003 included collection of water samples from approximately eleven existing NJDEP water quality network stations in Barnegat Bay (BB), Little Egg Harbor (LEH), and an additional station in Great Egg Inlet during April (1X), May (1X), June (4X), July (2X), August (1X), September (1X). In 2000, sampling was conducted at 44 water quality network stations on different days from April through November. Stations were located on a north-south and east-west axis in BB/LEH. Water samples were enumerated for Aureococcus anophagefferens and analyzed for environmental factors (e.g., salinity, temperature) at the same time. Additional water samples were also taken at 5 of the stations during the same sampling periods and analyzed for nutrients by NJDEP's Bureau of Marine Water Monitoring including: NH3, NO3+NO2, TOTAL NITROGEN, and DISSOLVED ORGANIC NITROGEN

Field Collection of Water Samples(NJMSC):
Three years of field sampling data (2000, 2001, 2002) were analyzed as part of the study. These field data were collected at specific sampling points along the major North-South axis of the Barnegat Bay/Little Egg Harbor (BB/LEH) estuary (sampling locations). The data were collected at various intervals across the spring-summer-fall months, generally monthly during the spring and fall and weekly to biweekly during the summer. Water samples by boat (on the same day) and coordinated helicopter sampling by USEPA (bi-weekly May through September). A 4.5 ml water sample was collected by pipette or other sampling and placed into a glass test tubes in 2002. In 2000, NJDEP collected water samples in 500 mL bottles for each station and stations were monitored on various days. Samples were preserved after collection with a 0.5 ml of 10% glutaraldehype made up in natural seawater to give a final fixative concentration of 1% glutaraldehyde and shipped to Dr. David Caron (USC) for monoclonal analysis. In addition, the NJMSC/NJSG measured the following environmental data:
Depth, Turbidity, pH, Salinity, Photosynthetically Active Radiation, Transmissivity, Chlorophyll a, and Temperature.

Monoclonal Antibody Method for Enumeration(USC/Aquatic Ecotechnologies):
The brown tide organism, Aureococcus anophagefferens is enumerated using a monoclonal antibody analysis that employs a colormetric enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELIZA) format using 96-well tissue culture dishes. The process consists of an enzymatic action that occurs between the antigens and antibodies in the sample causing a color development. Known unialgal cultures of A. anophagefferens are used as the standard. Dilutions of the A. anophagefferens culture are then treated to ELISA and a standard curve with coloration determined. Each unknown field sample (natural populations) of A. anophagefferens is analyzed in triplicate and each sample of the seven-point standard curve is also performed in triplicate, as well as reagent blanks, and compared against the standard curves and colorations of the diluted concentrations of the unialgal cultures to enumerate algae in the field sample. This technique was developed by Dr. David Caron and the NJDEP/DSRT provided funding for the enumeration of samples.

Spatial Analysis of A.a. cells/ml (CRSSA):
To visualize the spatial distribution of the brown tide blooms, it was necessary to map the field sampling locations to their georeferenced location. Individual sample point locations for an individual sampling time period were then interpolated to create 2-dimensional surface maps for the various sampled parameters. A shoreline boundary file was used as a barrier in the interpolation process. The point data were interpolated to create a grid cell map of 100 m cell size using an inverse distance weighted interpolation routine. The ArcView geographic information system (GIS) software was used for the mapping and spatial analysis

Site created and maintained by the Grant F. Walton Center for Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis (CRSSA), Cook College, Rutgers University. Web site created by Scott Haag Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve'. Site last updated April 20, 2003.